An acoustic regulation: is it worth having it?

Julie Leduc

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Buying a condo can be one of the most important expenses you will make in your life. Therefore, it is normal to have expectations regarding your needs for privacy and respect for others, which go through soundproofing, among others. It is important to properly analyze your acoustic options before any construction or renovation takes place, making the right decision will maximize your acoustical comfort and your investment.

An acoustic regulation to follow

The only way to ensure proper soundproofing in a multi-storey condo building is to provide clear provisions on this subject to the regulation chart adopted by the condo board. Thus, the co-owner who wishes to renovate his floors must comply with conditions provided in the provisions in order to optimize the acoustic performance of his condo.

As for the content of such provisions, it will differ from one building to another. Some condo boards will require specific acoustic performance, while others will offer a choice of a few acoustical products. Sometimes, the condo board will even go so as far as restricting approved floor covering options. It is also common to see the mention "acoustical test required after renovation" to validate the performance of the assembly.

Often, regulation charts do not coincide in every respect with what is then applied. It is imperative that special attention be given in the preparation of plans and the choice of materials, as well as during the execution of the work. Although the contractor or installer is aware of the recommended assembly, most of the time, details are overlooked. So, When a lot of small mistakes occur, that could ultimately make the building's performance not meet the requirements stipulated in the regulation chart or even the recommendations of the National Building Code (NBC). Constant monitoring is therefore mandatory in order to avoid possible problems. In acoustics, everything is played in the details.

Acoustic regulation: not at all or inconsistent

Sometimes a building does not have any particular regulations regarding acoustics. Also, it is common that regulation charts contain inadequate, incomplete or simply incorrect information. Indeed, the condo board rarely knows the acoustics of their building. It is therefore very important that they seek information from experts in the field who will guide them in drafting an acoustic regulation to be included in their regulation chart or simply improving existing regulations. Everything must be done according to the structure of the building, the types of flooring possible and the acoustic expectations desired. Acoustics is a complex science and a panoply of information is found in the market. It is important to identify the appropriate options for the building.

Who do you refer to?

 An acoustical engineer can guide you through the acoustic optimization of your building and even perform acoustic tests before and / or after work is completed. The AcoustiTECH team can guide you through understanding acoustic principles, propose solutions adapted to your building by analyzing your structure, and help you with the technical aspects. We can also refer acoustical engineers if tests are needed.

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